Pam Pack ousted by Southwest Edgecombe, 44-20

Published 12:06 am Saturday, November 12, 2016

Washington’s defense gave up one first down before forcing Southwest Edgecombe to punt on its opening drive. Seniors Suae Poe and Matt Black led the charge as the offense marched down the field, capping off an almost four-minute drive with a 1-yard score by Poe.

The Pam Pack took an early 7-0 lead, but the visiting Cougars ran roughshod as Alex Foster rumbled for 140 yards on 26 carries, scoring three consecutive touchdowns to lead his team to a 44-20 victory.

“We always seem to be undersized against a lot of teams,” Washington coach Sport Saywer said of the mass differential between his club and Southwest Edgecombe. “Our kids fight still. We haven’t been able to get bounces to go our way this year. I know the kids are frustrated. Again, they didn’t quit. They played hard. Some of them have achieved a lot this year.”

With that and a Farmville Central victory over North Johnston, Southwest Edgecombe is the undisputed 2-A Eastern Plains Conference champion. Washington, on its way out of the league, hoped to take a share of the title with it, which would guarantee it a spot in the postseason.

The Pam Pack won’t know for sure if it missed out on the playoffs until Saturday.

Foster answered Washington’s early touchdown with one of his own. He led them down the field before punching one in from a yard out. He scampered for the 2-point conversion, giving Southwest Edgecombe an 8-7 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Washington attempted to convert a fourth-and-8, but Frederick Holscher’s pass over the middle was just out of the reach of Drew Ferguson. The Cougars turned right around with a rare aerial attempt of their own — a 29-yard toss from Tre Williams to Montavious Andrews. Foster finished off the drive with a 3-yard score, pushing his team’s lead to 14-7.

Southwest Edgecombe added one more before halftime. On fourth-and-1, Foster took off to the Pam Pack’s 1-yard line, and punched in his third touchdown from there, giving the Cougars a 20-7 lead with 25 ticks left before halftime.

“We struggled at different times (on the) offensive line and defensive line,” Sawyer said. “We just got a little bit manhandled up front. We made some plays at times, and didn’t at times. Up front, they were able to win some battles.”

Holscher, who took a stiff hit at the end of the first half, gave Washington’s offense a burst of energy right out of the intermission. He and Black linked up for a pair of second-half touchdowns. The first was a 21-yard strike set up by a 20-yard run by Quashawn Gaynor.

The second saw Black make a grab on a curl route, then take it 15 yards to the house. It made it a one-possession game just five seconds into the final period, but the Pam Pack defense couldn’t come up with a stop.

“Matt had a very good game,” Sawyer said. “He caught some curls, caught some arrow routes, and made moves after the catch. Matt had a big night, and Frederick threw some good balls to him.”

The Cougars tacked on 16 unanswered points to take a 44-20 lead. Hassan Hammiel intercepted a wobbly lob by Holscher with 11 seconds left to let Southwest Edgecombe run out the clock.

Poe finished the game with 19 rushes for 81 yards. Black had seven catches for 81 yards and two scores.

“We’ve had some bad breaks this year, and we rode the guys hard,” Sawyer said. “We’ve been playing behind the eight ball, it seems like, all year. … They’re good guys, good young men, and I wish things had been better for them.”